By Seun Adeyemi
As I seat here, in the cool harmattan evening trying to piece this words together, I recall a rather unfortunate and pathetic story I was told years ago, about a distant uncle of ours, God rest his soul.
You know how things get in some cultures, in the part of the world where, someone try describing the place of a relation in the family tree…and you hear such words as “my mother’s mother’s sisters cousins uncle…
Yes something like that.
You see, I almost go crazy trying to get the connection sometimes…
And so, it was told that this distant uncle of mine had an habit of showing off his possessions to almost any guest that came visiting his home.
And my aunt wasn’t an exception, on the day she arrived their home for the first time, our big old uncle showed her round their property, leaving no stone unturned. But, that isn’t a bad much less unfortunate thing, you might be thinking.
But wait till you read the part where, during the short excursion, he kept saying
“See how beautiful this is… you must know…mummy’s one cent is not in it o, I built it, bought this, did this with my money.”
He kept repeating that all through the journey as if it was an anthem of something he expected to be given an award on.
…And you can imagine the kind of house, in the 90s the old man was boasting about.
Now before you go attributing that height of immaturity and shamelessness to old age. Here’s the story of another young guy who practically did same thing.
Few weeks ago, I was told of how this young man pulled the sheets over his well packed cars, hid the keys only God knows where and travelled out of the country for several months, leaving his wife no choice than to hop from Okada(bike) to okada even under perilous circumstances.
He made sure she didn’t learn how to drive, actually he commanded her not to, ’cause he wouldn’t want her to ‘start robbing shoulders with him’.
What an insecure, immature and permit me to say irresponsible man.
Yes, he is!
If your wife don’t have access to your possessions, who else in the world should?
I mean, I’m shook.
I can’t understand why such a guy would marry when he isn’t willing or ready to share his life and possesions with his woman.
I regard such men as immature, irresponsible and foolish.
I’ve also handled cases where it is a woman foolishly laying claim on certain things in her marriage…much to her own detriment.
Listen, whatever makes you say I do to someone gives them full rights over you and your possessions.
Henceforth, you relinquish the right to say this or that belongs to ‘me’. No. It becomes ‘us’
That’s because when a man and woman is come together in marriage, they are no longer separate entities but a complete package and so, in the eyes of God and the law, they expressly become Co owners of everything each one has- money, time, resources, worldly possessions, children, even their bodies.
A lot of changes takes place.
As much as there’s been a change in status, it comes with a change of vocabulary. I, me, mine changes to we and ours.
Their choices, preferences, priorities, responsibility and what have you changes as well.
To know and accept this truth is to conquer self, heartaches and most unnecessary frictions that otherwise result…
It means dropping off the baggage of self centeredness, insensitivity, irresponsibility, stinginess and etcetera.
Marriage will work when we come to terms with the consciousness that we are no longer two but one.
Now we can’t be one, then keep holding on to individual belongings, possessions etc…that wouldn’t suffice the main essence of being one would it?
I mean, I wouldn’t be a virtuous wife if I hold on to everything me, mine and I.
Once I said the big word- “I Do”, I lost that right.
However, this is not to imply that I’m perfect. Or have the perfect marriage, Far from it.
I’m a work in progress.
Trust me, there’ve been times, I’ve been tempted to lay claim on certain things (who hasn’t), especially at those tough times when the mushy feelings were locked away somewhere, perhaps as a result of lingering unresolved fights, hurts, issues or unclarified concerns…and I didn’t feel like sharing…
Still, somehow, I manage to remember…
And maybe at that time I’m struggling with something as little as saving up the last piece of meat for him or arranging his wardrobe for the one thousandth time (you know how hard it is right?)
But then with that nagging pain in my heart, I struggle to let love win. Though I must confess it’s not easy. A few times I’ve let my flesh get the best of me too, but it never made it alright.
Instead it stirred up more fires.
So, I learnt my lessons and I’m better for it.
I learned that it’s never a sign of weakness or stupidity to make those sacrifices by putting him first, ahead of myself and intentionally keeping the baggage out where it belongs rather, it’s a sign of great strength. A sign of growth and great sense of responsibility.
Now this is in no way suggesting that we let ourselves be used until we’re sapped our very essence.
It doesn’t also say we must keep mute and take every garbage hook line and sinker.
Not at all,
Neither does it imply we must loose our lives in making others happy or we must loose ourselves in a bid to be selfless.
No. What I’m driving at is that we must be weary of and keep out of our marriage/relationship all baggages full of self centeredness, possessiveness, stinginess and over protectiveness of one’s interests above the others’
Then, we must embrace the consciousness that all we have belongs to the other person as well.
We must learn to share and never hold back. Then, imbibe the habits of giving, doing acts of kindness and selfless service to each other…
Doing it all with the consciousness that marriage is hard work.
Now, I live you to figure out if your marriage/relationship is worth it all.